Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gaddafi’s Blood-Soaked Hands

Source: Time SwampPland

It was not long after he received a secret warning from the Italian government in April 1986 and narrowly escaped being blown to bits by American bombers that Muammar Gaddafi declared his intention to become Emperor of Africa. What followed as the increasingly erratic Gaddafi pursued his megalomaniacal dream was one of the most obscene and violent episodes in recent African history.

Drawing recruits from his terrorism camps, Gaddafi trained, armed and dispatched thugs like Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh to take power in West African countries, initiating the brutal slaughter of innocents in Liberia and Sierra Leone, says David M. Crane, the founding prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. “This was a long-term criminal conspiracy,” says Crane, who is now a professor at Syracuse University, and “[Gaddafi] was the center point.”

For those who don’t remember, here’s a quick summary of the atrocities that took place in the war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. In pursuit of diamonds, timber and gold, Sankoh, backed by Taylor, backed by Gaddafi, invaded Sierra Leone and instituted a campaign of terror, cutting off the arms and other body parts of civilians to frighten the country into compliance. Rape was a widespread weapon of war, and according to reporting by one human rights organization, Sankoh’s troops played a game where they would bet on the sex of a baby being carried by a pregnant captive, then cut the fetus out of the woman to determine its gender.

Sankoh died in custody after the war ended; Taylor is currently being tried by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Gaddafi is named in Taylor’s indictment, and Taylor has testified to Gaddafi’s involvement. Crane says he found evidence that when Sankoh invaded Sierra Leone, “Libyan special forces were there helping train and assist them tactically and there were Libyan arms in that invasion: he had been involved from the get go.”

Tuesday afternoon, the U.N. Security Council issued a statement suggesting Gaddafi might be called to task for the current bloodshed in Libya, which has reportedly included unprovoked and lethal assaults by foreign African mercenaries against innocent protesters. “The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of accountability,” the statement said, “They underscored the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks, including by forces under their control, on civilians.”

Anyone holding Gaddafi to account will have a long ledger to work from. It was Gaddafi, after all, who ordered the attack on the West Berlin disco that killed two U.S. servicemen and prompted the 1986 U.S. bombing known as operation El Dorado Canyon. Gaddafi was behind the bombing of Pan Am 103, which killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. And until he gave them up after the U.S. attack on Iraq in 2003, Gaddafi was pursuing nuclear and chemical weapons.

What would it mean for U.S. interests if Gaddafi were to be put on trial for any of the atrocities he’s been responsible for over his four decades in power? On the surface, Gaddafi’s fall should not pose the kind of threat to U.S. strategic interests that a disorderly transition in Egypt or Bahrain might. Egypt’s relationship with Israel and its military cooperation with Washington are as important to the U.S. as the presence in Bahrain of the Navy’s 5th fleet. But Gaddafi’s sponsorship of the brutality in West Africa shows how Libya’s vast oil wealth can allow it to project instability well beyond its borders in ways that can also threaten the U.S.

Another thug could replace Gaddafi. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Monday, “Would you imagine to have an Islamic Arab Emirate at the borders of Europe? This would be a very serious threat.” U.S. officials are unconvinced the threat is as bad as Frattini says, and they note that Gaddafi himself has been peddling the danger. “We’ve heard [Gaddafi] say that there are caliphates being formed in Libya,” says a senior administration official. “There are very valid concerns about Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, but the fact that a bunch of people have taken territory in the east [of Libya] does not a caliphate make.”

The greater danger may be of Gaddafi staying. “In the recent past [he] has been better behaved,” says a senior administration official, “But go back 20 years or so and he was a significant sponsor of terrorist acts who had a nuclear program. So a major concern is does the regime retrench in ways that affect our interests in the region? Even before this happened he was complaining that his gesture in giving up nukes had not been reciprocated with the kind of love he expected. If he somehow survives this he’ll have no interest in improving relations with the west.”

News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors. While every care has been taken in the compilation of information on this website/blog, and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, I cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this website/blog. The content of any organizations websites which you link to from this website/blog are entirely out of the control of Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience. They do not imply Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah's endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at said organizations site.